1996 Ridge Monte Bello

Community Tasting Note


95 Points

Saturday, February 19, 2005 - First things first: I'm a Bordeaux guy, first and second growth Pauillac and St Julien rock my world, but I also love "old school" CA Cabernet. You know, Montelena, Dunn, Monte Bello, Insignia, et al. This wine happens to be my fourth Monte Bello and my first from the nineties. It is still a baby: Opaque purple-red without a hint of lightening on the edge. The nose upon opening is substantial if a bit unelegant; however, after an hour or two in the glass it softens and becomes more complex and earthy. In the mouth the oak is noticeable and not entirely integrated yet, though the red fruits, cedar, and wet earth still shine through. The finish is long with noticeable tannins. This one's gonna be a beauty, but if I had but one bottle, I'd wait for 5-10 years before cracking it.

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